COURAGEOUS bystanders have been hailed for their efforts in trying to save a man's life in Alloa last week.

Two ambulances raced to Shillinghill last Wednesday, March 13, early evening after a man collapsed near to the bus stop.

However, in the time it took for paramedics to arrive, three local people stepped up to put their first aid skills to good use.

Despite giving the man a fighting chance, the Advertiser understands the patient died in hospital.

Alicia Bradie, Gemma Roach and Kim Mcdougall were key players when it came to making sure the man survived after taking a turn for the worse.

Not taken aback by what Alicia described as a “really scary” situation, they immediately rushed into action while a bus driver called 999.

Many others supported the trio as they battled to keep the man alive.

Alicia is a dental nurse who knows CPR as part of her job, but she only ever tested her skills on dummies before.

In a tag-team set up, she took over doing the compressions from Kim once she started to tire.

Despite some complications, they managed to keep some oxygen flowing around his body until the professionals arrived to take over and ultimately rush the man to Forth Valley Royal Hospital.

Alicia said: “It's a hard situation to be in when there is so many people around, but I thought of taking over for the compressions from Kim as it can be tiring.

“Everyone was straight in, hands-on helping and the paramedics arrived really quickly.”

It was not the first time Gemma stepped in during a scenario such as this. She is also a trained first aider, even though her knowledge has lapsed over the years.

For her, stepping in the help was a straightforward decision.

She said: “I don’t think I could forgive myself for walking by or standing watching when I could help.

“There were people everywhere watching, no one seemed to really know how to help to be honest.

“But it was so serious I think people were all in shock.”

While ambulance crews were swiftly on the scene, the trio had to battle for some “long minutes”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed: “We received a call at 16.52pm on Wednesday, March 13, to attend an incident in Shillinghill.

"We dispatched two ambulances and a manager to the scene.

"We transported one male Forth Valley Royal Hospital."

The trio received praise from all corners of the county, with people taking to social media to congratulate all involved and to wish the man a speedy recovery.

Few people know the importance of bystander CPR more than Councillor George Matchett QPM, who in April 2017 suddenly collapsed at an election hustings.

Following last week’s incident, he told the Advertiser: “Having the individuals in the audience who knew what to do, undoubtedly saved my life.

“There’s not a shadow of a doubt in that whatsoever; and more people becoming familiar with it, aware of it and able to actually put in CPR, is absolutely invaluable.”

He said he still cannot thank enough the people who saved him that day and highlighted the good work that has been ongoing in the past years in the installation of public access defibrillators around the Wee County along with CPR training.

The elected member added: “I’m very pleased to see that AEDs are now appearing in the town and elsewhere; people are beginning to realise that we can save lives if we have the proper equipment and the proper knowledge and skill to do it.”

Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart, who is co-convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Heart Disease and Stroke, said the actions of the people involved last week were “nothing short of heroic and they should be absolutely commended”.

He added: “As many will be aware, every minute without CPR or defibrillation reduces a person’s chance of surviving a cardiac arrest by around ten per cent and thousands more lives could be saved if the public were equipped with vital CPR skills or even had access to a defibrillator, which is another critical link in the chain of survival.

“Currently, only one in 20 people in Scotland will survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest, and we all want to give people across the country the best chance of surviving such a traumatic event as this.”

And so, he has been happy to support CPR training events and has in the best put in parliamentary motions to commend the many initiatives that brought public access defibrillators to the Wee County.

He added: “The importance of bystander support and intervention in situations such as these should not be underestimated and it is vital that as many people as possible learn these hugely important skills, which can be utilised to help save another person’s life until medical intervention arrives.

“I send my very best wishes to the gentleman and everyone involved and bid him a very speedy recovery.”

SNP MSP Keith Brown wanted to personally thank all involved.

He added: “Lives are lost every year because people lack the confidence and skills to step in and save a life when someone collapses with a cardiac arrest which is why it is important that as many people as possible learn this life-saving skill to give them the confidence to step in and try to save a life when they see someone suffer a cardiac arrest.

“Here in Clackmannanshire, I am pleased that our high school students are offered the opportunity to learn CPR skills and I would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take part in training to consider doing so.”